NKE Progressing to Be ‘Green & Healthy’

For years now, staff and parents at different Oregon School District schools have pursued sustainability and outdoor education initiatives independently of each other. Although much exciting progress was being made, oftentimes people outside that school had no idea it was happening. Starting with this school year, the entire OSD is making a coordinated effort to be more sustainable, all under the umbrella of Wisconsin’s Green & Healthy Schools program.

As explained on the G&HS website, the program:

… supports and encourages schools to create safe learning environments and prepare students to understand, analyze and address the major environmental and sustainability challenges now and in the future through providing resources, recognition and certification. Administered through a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, this program provides information, resources and announcements for all school staff, community members and others interested in green and healthy initiatives and activities for Wisconsin schools.

The program recognizes achievement in nine focus areas:

  • community involvement
  • energy
  • environmental and sustainability education
  • environmental health (indoor air quality, chemical management, integrated pest management)
  • health and wellness
  • recycling and waste management
  • school site
  • transportation
  • water

Through achievement in these areas, schools make progress toward three main goals:

1. Reduce environmental impact and costs
2. Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff
3. Provide environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

ghslogoThere are four certification levels: Sprout, Seedling, Sapling and Sugar Maple. Currently NKE is a Sprout—just beginning the process. Fourth-grade teacher Emily Anderson will be leading NKE’s efforts on the G&HS program, including the formation of a student group who will be integral in NKE’s progress.

If you’d like to be involved in this or our other outdoor education initiatives at NKE, please let Mr. Kluck know!

And, just a continual reminder: Please save your Bill’s Food Center receipts and turn them in at NKE. Bill’s support (donating 1% of all receipts we turn in) is integral to our success with the NKE Arboretum and other outdoor education projects at our school.

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